The Note: Splitting the Baby Pinata

The Washington Post's Dana Milbank writes that Rove was sent into a "syntactical tailspin" after he uttered, "We're doing a heck of a job." LINK

Michael McAuliff of the New York Daily News chats with some pollsters who seem to disagree with Rove's analysis of President Bush's recent poll position. LINK

The Los Angeles Times' Wallsten writes up the Bush-Rove one-two punch to soothe the base yesterday, but seems to wonder if it may be too late. LINK

E.J. Dionne of the Washington Post contrasts Rove's somewhat defensive posture at AEI yesterday with his more offensive posture in his January address to the RNC, and takes issue with Rove's math. LINK

The Nation's David Corn blogs about "Asking Rove One Question." LINK

Fitzgerald investigation:

Anne Marie Squeo of the Wall Street Journal debunks the Truthout.org report on a Rove (non)-indictment and explores the effect of the sometimes inaccurate blogosphere. LINK

(Also, Judith Miller offers a Wall Street Journal op-ed on WMD.)

Politics of Medicare:

The inimitable Robert Pear of the New York Times on the rush to enroll in Medicare Part D before last night's deadline. LINK

Rep. Nancy Johnson (R-CT) said yesterday that she did not want seniors who sign up for the Medicare prescription drug benefit after yesterday's deadline to face any penalties.

"So I don't want them to have penalties and my bill would eliminate the penalty for this second round of sign-ups," said Rep. Johnson. "I don't want any senior in America to pay a price for the fact that some Democrats made the political choice to dissuade seniors from the biggest benefit expansion that Medicare has offered since its founding."

Rep. Johnson is one of four incumbent House Republicans who has been criticized in television ads by MoveOn.org for allegedly letting down seniors by not allowing Medicare to negotiate lower prescription drug prices.

Eli Pariser, MoveOn.org's executive director, reacted to Johnson's bill to get rid of the post-deadline penalty by telling ABC News, "Johnson's last-minute opportunism doesn't get her much praise in our book. It's nice to see that a few MoveOn members and a big cardboard check with Johnson's drug company contributions on it can have an impact. But where was she when she actually could have made a difference on this issue? . . . This looks to us more like blatant pandering to an electorate that's moving away from her. After taking so much money from the drug companies, it's no wonder that her voters don't trust her."

From April 26 through May 5, MoveOn spent $305,000 to air ads criticizing Reps. Johnson, Deborah Pryce (R-OH), Chris Chocoloa (R-IN), and Thelma Drake (R-VA) on Medicare.

MoveOn has switched back to the energy issue against Pryce, Chocola, and Drake. But has renewed its Medicare attack on Johnson. MoveOn is spending $86,000 to air its anti-Johnson Medicare ad this week. Johnson has responded with an ad that tries to link Chris Murphy, her Democratic opponent, to the MoveOn ads, whom she refers to as Murphy's "special interest friends."

Surveillance politics:

BellSouth denies the USA Today report from last week naming it as one of the telecommunications companies that handed over customer calling records to the NSA, reports the New York Times. LINK

USA Today on the same. LINK

Pennsylvania:

The Philadelphia Enquirer on PA's "moment of truth." LINK

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Pennsylvania's new voting machines. LINK

Oregon:

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